Are health issues like high fever, aching joints, colds & flu etc. disrupting your life? Read our in-depth guide on peppermint oil and also few recipes to help you fight for such health issues.
The Ultimate Guide to Peppermint Oil
Peppermint Oil is a very versatile and useful oil. It can be used for many types of conditions where there is an excessive amount of heat in the body causing fever, irritability or upset stomach.
It also is delicious in many types of drinks and foods and refreshing when used in soaps and body products. Peppermint oil is very easy to use when already prepared as an essential oil and should be consistently stored in your pantry.
This article will help you discover the many fun facts and uses for this oil. It will also give you some delectable recipes for kitchen, batch, and boudoir.
History of Peppermint Oil
Herbal medicine is as old as the beginning of time. Kings or leaders of kingdoms would instruct their shaman or healer to find new medicinal plants.
They had herb tasters who would record the properties of the plants found and therapeutic function was discovered by trial and error.
Sometimes farmers would notice a new plant growing locally and learn the function of it by how the bugs and rodents responded to it.
According to ancient Chinese folklore, many centuries ago, a farmer was tending his field and saw a snake. He thought he beat it to death, but the snake kept returning.
After a few times, the farmer learned that the snake was healing itself by eating some nearby weeds. As it turns out, the plant the snake was eating helps to stop the internal and external bleeding. This was the introduction of herbal medicine in China.
Peppermint can be traced simultaneously to the Egyptians and the Chinese to before 1000 B.C. It is a Persian physician, Avicenna who is credited with perfecting the process of distilling the mint leaves into an essential oil.
Both the Egyptians and Chinese used peppermint oil to calm stomach pains. It didn’t make its way to Europe until after 1200A.D. European Monks would use peppermint as a tooth polisher and cheese– makers would use the aromatic herb to keep rats away.
When the Mayflower landed in America in 1620, the Native Indians were already cultivating this herb and using it to treat ailments including sores, venereal disease, colds, and headaches.
Elizabeth Coates–Paschal (1702–1767), was one of the first female herbalists in our country. She compiled a book containing 212 recipes, among which was an herbal recipe using mint to help ease the pain from a toothache. This book was used by folk doctors, bone setters, herbalists, and midwives.
Chinese Medicine arrived in the U.S. through the doctors who immigrated here in the early 1800’s. Ing (Doc) Hay and Lung On were Chinese doctors who opened a practice during the Gold Rush of Oregon and practiced herbal medicine and acupuncture.
They added valuable information to what was already known about using peppermint oil on rashes, the eyes and clearing wind–heat.
They also cautioned the use of peppermint with patients diagnosed with yin deficiency, internal cold conditions or dryness, exterior conditions with sweating, or deficient cold of spleen and stomach.
Today, mint is grown in large quantities in Michigan. The main functions are to disperse wind–heat, brighten and clear the eyes, promote rash expression, soothe a sore throat, and promote better circulation.
The main uses and indications are a headache, red eyes, throat infection, measles, and fullness and discomfort in the epigastrium and abdomen. Peppermint oil is already cooked and processed so all you should do it add it in whatever you want.
It is used in foods, drinks, desserts, shampoo, toothpaste and shower gel. It’s used to help relieve congestion, sore throat, headache, bad breath, painful joints and brightens the eyes. Topical application increases blood circulation. The dosage is 2–10 grams. It should be cooked for only about 5 minutes.
English and French peppermint are considered to have the best quality. Good quality of natural peppermint has dark green leaves with a cool, aromatic fragrance. You can make your own peppermint oil with a few steps and an in a few short weeks.
Peppermint Oil Benefits
Cooling down the body temperature is essential when a fever is present. You can put some rubbing alcohol on the soles of the feet or put 20–30 drops of peppermint oil in a bowl of cool water and use as a wash. The objective here is to wipe down the head, face, and chest with the water and peppermint mix.
You don’t want the mix to drip, but want to keep the cloth fresh with the liquid. Therefore, I wouldn’t really use it as a press unless you rinse out the cloth every couple of minutes. Because the mint is pungent and cool, it is effective in helping to reducing the fever.
Peppermint is a soothing and cooling herb. It relaxes the muscles and cools inflammation. It also promotes the secretion of gastric enzymes that will aid in digestion. Simply drink a cup of peppermint tea at the end of a meal.
You may want to make it kind of strong depending on your symptoms or consider buying over–the–counter peppermint already in capsules. Drinking warm water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and mint is also good for indigestion.
I have used peppermint oil on my patients to their forehead and temples, which helped reduce headache symptoms. Apply a few drops to your temples.
You can also add 8 drops of peppermint oil to a small bowl of cool water and apply as a wash to the temples, forehead, and back of the neck to relieve a headache, migraine and a hot sensation on the head.
Peppermint oil is very effective in relieving toothache. Dip a cotton ball in peppermint oil and apply it on the toothache area. It will decrease the soreness as well as pain in the tooth.
You can also take a drink of peppermint leaves with warm water and some baking soda. This will not only eliminate a toothache but it will also ease other related pains such as headaches and freshen your breath.
Peppermint aroma can stimulate the nervous system to wake up the senses and body. This can help with mental fatigue from work or study.
Peppermint is sometimes used as a kind of ‘smelling salt’ because of its strong aroma. Just put a few drops on a tissue, or inhale directly from the bottle. This can also help to relieve nausea (Murray, 2014).
Mix water and peppermint oil in a spray bottle to get rid of ants. Some markets have natural mint in a small pot.
This plant thrives in the kitchen window, but make sure you put it in a small vase and water it every other day to almost the top of the potted plant.
The aroma of the plant will help deter flies, knats, mosquitos, and ants. You can add some peppermint oil to the water for extra aroma and air freshener.
There are tons of oils, ointments, and salves on the market that contain menthe. The peppermint oil in these products helps to vent the area, cool inflammation and relieve pain. It acts as an analgesic, anti–inflammatory when massaged into the skin.
You can also add 8–10 drops of peppermint oil to jojoba oil or your favorite massage oil or cream to have a similar effect. Peppermint essential oil helps both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in addition to bruises and insect bites.
Peppermint oil has been used to fight pain and inflammation in numerous conditions, from toothaches to shingles.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
For people who have regular IBS, peppermint oil can help reduce symptoms and frequency of symptoms. For the benefit either choose peppermint capsules from a health food store or drink peppermint tea after your meal. Take the capsules 30 minutes before the meal and 1–2 hours after the meal.
Taking the pills before the meal can help prepare the stomach by soothing the lining of the gastro– intestinal tract. After the meal, it helps relieves gas, bloating and indigestion. Of course, if the problem persists you may want to see a dietician or your primary care physician.
Because of its cooling and soothing effect on the skin, Peppermint oil helps with skin irritation caused by hives, poison ivy, or poison oak. This also has a sedating effect on the nervous system. This will also be helpful for jellyfish stings. Just mix some water and add 10 or so drops of peppermint oil.
You can use cotton too, but I prefer a cloth for the severely irritated skin. You can also make some tea. Let the tea cool to room temperature before you begin. Place the tea bag directly on the skin. The tea bag helps to draw out the poison while taming the itching sensation at the same time.
Peppermint oil also has an antiseptic property. Along with freshening your breath, peppermint oil can also help your blisters heal faster, including sores inside your mouth.
Put several drops of peppermint oil on a cotton swab or ball and apply on the blister 3 times daily. This action will help the blister dry out faster and will also help regeneration of flesh so that you don’t get a spot after the blister has healed.
This technique is useful when detecting leaks in your pipes. Close all openings to the building and pour about a gallon of hot water into the piping, immediately closing the opening with a plug kept at hand for the purpose. The peppermint test is applied by putting about two ounces of oil of peppermint into the system on the roof.
The fumes of the peppermint travel throughout the system of piping and to penetrate any existing leaks, the presence of which can then be detected by the characteristic smell.
The person who puts the peppermint in the piping should not try to look for leaks, as he will continue to smell the oil, and is apt to imagine that he smells leaks where they do not exist.
A couple of drops of peppermint oil in the temples of your eyes can help relieve dizziness and blurry vision. Be careful not to get it in your eye.
You should apply the oil closer to the hairline than the eye. If you do get some oil in your eyes, just rinse them in cool water for a couple of minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly.
Promotes eruption of rashes
Peppermint oil is used in the early stages of rashes such as measles. This induces the rash to come to the surface as a means of venting the wind and heat and thereby speed recovery.
In Chinese Medicine, peppermint oil is combined with additional herbs to vent rashes thereby alleviate the itching and reducing skin irritation.
Colds & Flu
Peppermint and its main active agent, menthol, are effective decongestants. This cooling herb can help with fever, sore throat and headaches associated with the common cold and the flu.
Because menthol thins mucus, it is also a good expectorant, meaning it helps loosen phlegm and makes coughs more productive. It is soothing and calming for sore throats, bronchitis, and dry coughs.
Put a few drops of peppermint oil in your humidifier to relieve congestion. The cooling aspect of the herb helps relieve inflammation in the nose, throat, lungs, and sinuses.
I would caution using peppermint oil directly on the nostril because the skin is delicate, especially if you have been blowing or wiping your nose. Using peppermint oil a salve can ease lung inflammation due to sinus infections, allergies, and bronchitis.
Peppermint Oil Homemade Recipes
1. Peppermint Oil Capsules to reduce fever and headache
Benefits: To relieve minor fever or heat sensation and headaches associated with stress, allergies, the onset of colds and flu, and overheating during the summer months.
Peppermint is very easy to find. You can use tea bags, loose tea, pills from the market. You can even buy the capsules and make them yourself. You can also make your own tincture and pour it into capsules.
- Peppermint Oil 15–30 drops
The purpose here is to cool down the body. You can do this several ways. The first is to draw a cool to room temperature bath and add about 30 drops of peppermint oil. The oil will help bring down the temperature. The second method is to pour some cool water in the sink and add 10–15 drops of the oil to make a wash.
Soak a cloth in the water and gently make sweeping motions from the center of the head or body out. This action is soothing to the touch and will help bring down the temperature. The third method is to take the cloth and place over the forehead, careful not to drip any oil into the eyes.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Greens smoothie drink
Benefits: Sooth internal lining of intestines, disperse stagnation and accumulations and promote cooling and better circulation within the gastro– intestinal tract. I make this drink when my diet hasn’t been the best and I have symptoms such as: bloating, abdominal fullness, constipation or diarrhea, feeling of being hotter than usual, weight gain and no appetite. You can also use this recipe for acid regurgitation and heartburn.
- 5 leaves fresh peppermint
- 2 cup water
- 2 thinly slices of ginger or ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 small handful of the following: Spinach leaves
- Romaine lettuce
- (Optional): Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, pepper, a dash of hot sauce to taste.
Add all ingredients to blender or juicer and mix. You can add some ice if you want. Just reduce the amount of water. You can also add dandelion if you want. This makes about 3 20–ounce servings. You can drink all in the same day or have 1 a day every morning. The greens, including the mint, are all cooling.
This will reduce inflammation and sooth in the gastro–intestinal tract. All these greens will help restore proper nutrition because they are packed with Vitamins and minerals your body needs like Vitamin C, potassium, several B vitamins, and fiber. The ginger acts to increase circulation and to provide balance to the drink because of its warm nature.
3. Aching Feet
Benefits: You’ll love this if you’re on your feet all day or have a problem with inflammation due to ingrown toenails, swollen feet, burning sensation in your feet, or gout.
- 1 tsp. grapeseed oil
- 3–4 drops peppermint essential oil
Pour warm water into a shallow, wide bowl with small rocks or marbles. Add the oils and mix. Rub your feet against the rocks while they soak in the refreshing and cooling mix. You can also massage the oils into your hands and then wrap in plastic wrap and place in warming gloves to sooth carpal tunnel syndrome.
4. Relieve Cold Symptoms
Benefits: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, anytime you have a sore throat it’s due to having excessive amounts of heat in the body.
Naturally, you want to cool heat with peppermint while promoting sweating to release the toxins. Try this soothing tea the next time you have body aches, chills and fever, runny nose, headache, and a sore throat. This tea is also good for tonsillitis.
- 4 cups water
- 4–6 slices of peeled ginger
- Strong green or white tea
- 15–20 mint leaves
- 3–4 tablespoons of honey
- 1 lemon
*Note* You can cook in a ceramic pot for 15 minutes and strain the herbs. Normally, when I cook natural herbs, I do it using this method. Or, you can boil water in any kind of pan or the microwave, add the tea bags, ginger and steep for 15 minutes. Add the mint the last five minutes and squeeze in some lemon juice.
*Note* This tea will have a very strong ginger flavor, but for a cold where there is no sore throat, but chills, maybe the slight fever, runny nose, tight or stiff neck, you need the ginger. Ginger is warm and will help you open the pores to sweat out the bacteria. Ginger also increases circulation allowing your immune system to work more effectively.
5. Cucumber & Yogurt Dish
Benefits: This is a refreshing dish that a staple in many Persian households. The name means yogurt and cucumber which are two ingredients that will cool inflammation in the bowls and both can treat symptoms of IBS, indigestions, gastro–enteritis and various other digestive issues. You can enjoy this as a dip, side dish or serve with bread.
- 2 cups of yogurt
- 1 large chopped cucumber
- 5 leaves fresh mint (cut into tiny pieces.)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Fresh mint to garnish
- Season as desired.
Mix all ingredients. Top with fresh mint, curly cucumber skins, lemon slices or dill if desired and then refrigerate for 30 minutes – Enjoy!
6. Relax and Restore–Essential Oils Mix
Benefits: If you decide that essential oils will be regularly used in your house, then you can buy a kit that has 12–24 different oils. The oils listed above are in most kits.
- 6 drops Wintergreen
- 6 drops Lavender
- 4 drops Peppermint
- 4 drops Tea Tree
- 2 drops Bergamot
This particular combination is great for insomnia, stress, especially long working hours, traveling long distances, after an intense workout and dramatic family moments. This will sooth irritability, tension, and stress while invigorating the senses and waking up the body so you can think clearly and feel physically stronger.
Mix all together in a bowl. You can add to another non–scented oil like jojoba or grape leaf and massage it into the body. You can also mix this in any non–scented soap, shampoo, body moisturizer or bath water.
7. Peppermint Oil for Hair Growth
Benefits: This salve is great for hair loss due to aging or hormonal changes. I haven’t had any chemotherapy patients to try it yet. The peppermint stimulates and opens the hair follicles.
The salve overall unclogs, opens and stimulates hair follicles to generate hair and improves blood circulation on the scalp. This formula will also work well for dry scalp causing dandruff.
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil
- 15 drops Peppermint essential oil.
- 30 drops Vitamin E Oil – sold at some markets and online
- 30 drops tea tree oil
- 30 drops Castor Oil
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan until it’s melted. Add in the Vitamin E and turn down the heat to low. Just heat for 1 or 2 minutes until smooth.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to heat for 2–4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let cool for at least 2 hours. Then you can pour into another container. To treat hair, apply a small handful of salve on hair, massage in and leave for 10–15 minutes. Rinse hair thoroughly and then shampoo as normal.
8. Delicious Dessert with Peppermint Oil
Benefits: Make every day a holiday with peppermint drinks or peppermint dessert. A sprig of peppermint into any tea is delicious. One of my favorite desserts uses peppermint in multiple layers.
- Oreo Cookies Peppermint oil
- Ice Cream
- Whipped Cream
Crush the Oreo cookies in a pie dish and mix with several drops of peppermint oil. Cut the brownie to reduce the thickness of it by half and place on the bottom of the pie crust.
Add a thin layer of ice cream. You can use Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate or Vanilla. Add the other layer of thinly sliced brownie. Top with whipped cream and add a sprig of mint to the top.
You can make this as a pie or put in glasses as a parfait. Enjoy!